This essay Lost Generation has a total of 708 words and 4 pages.
Ernest Hemingway is a renowned American
author of the Twentieth century who centers his novels around personal
experiences and affections. He is one of the authors named "The Lost Generation."
He could not cope with post-war America, and therefore he introduced a
new type of character in writing called the "code hero". Hemingway is known
to focus his novels around code heroes who struggle with the mixture of
their tragic faults and the surrounding environment. Traits of a typical
Hemingway Code Hero are a love of good times, stimulating surroundings,
and strict moral rules, including honesty. The Code Hero always exhibits
some form of a physical wound that serves as his tragic flaw and the weakness
of his character. In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises Jake Barnes
is the character who maintains the typical Code Hero qualities; while Robert
Cohn provides the antithesis of a Code Hero.
Jake Barnes, the narrator and main character
of The Sun Also Rises, is left impotent by an ambiguous accident during
World War I. Jake's wound is the first of many code hero traits that he
features. This physical wound, however, transcends into an emotional one
by preventing Jake from ever consummating his love with Lady Brett Ashley.
Emotional suffering can take its toll on the Code Hero as it did with Jake
Barnes. Despite the deep love between Jake and Lady Brett, Jake is forced
to keep the relationship strictly platonic and stand watch as different
men float in and out of Lady Ashley's life and bed. No one other than Jake
and Brett themselves ever learn the complexity of their relationship because
Jake's hopeless love for Brett and the agony it entails are restricted
to scenes known to themselves alone. Therefore, Jake suffers in silence
because he has learned to trust and rely only upon himself, which is conducive
to the Hemingway Code as well.
Jake is an American who travels to Europe
to satiate his appetite for exotic landscapes and to escape his pain. Jake
tries to live his life to the fullest with drinking, partying, and sporting
with friends. With these pastimes, Jake hopes to hide from his fault and
get on with the life he has been made to suffer. Watching and participating
in sports help accentuate the Code Hero's masculinity and provide the sense
of pride Jake has lost. This gain of pride is essential in the Hemingway
Code. Jake attends fishing trips with friends, he visits Pamplona, Spain
to witness the running of the bulls, and he acts as a mediator between
arguing friends. These characteristics reveal his strong character built
of courage and grace. Jake, as with any Code Hero, is a man of action who
spends more time achieving goals than talking about them.
Jake's friend, Robert Cohn violates everything
a Hemingway Code Hero represents. He is rich, gifted, and skillful and
is ready to discuss his emotions in detail. Robert refuses to admit defeat
when Brett rejects him repeatedly. Unlike Jake, when Cohn is hurt, he insists
on complaining to everyone instead of suffering in silence. Cohn does nothing
to assert his masculinity, either. He allows people, especially women to
ridicule him and knock down his self esteem. Cohn obviously can not stand
up for himself and does not take action when he should. Consequently, Robert
has no self control. When a matador sleeps with Brett, whom Cohn is in
love with, he takes out his jealousy by beating him repeatedly. Although
a man of action, Jake, the quintessential Hemingway Hero, knows when to
control himself, Robert Cohn does not.
On the whole, Jake Barnes strictly adheres
to the qualities of the typical Hemingway Code Hero. He relies solely on
himself, utilizes his assets, enjoys bullfights and other honorable activities.
He is an individual of action and speaks not of what he believes; rather
he just does what he believes to be right subtlety without any fanfare.
Jake has lived with disappointment and frustration all his life, yet he
overcomes it and uses the lesson to his advantage. On the other hand, Robert
Cohn, who has had the easy life is the perpetual loser. He allows people
to walk all over him and continually feels sorry for himself. Robert Cohn
is the false knight, who, in theory should be the victorious protagonist
but will always turn out to be a shallow person who lives on the fringes
of life. In the end, the person who does not possess the Code Hero qualities
can never discover himself, and therefore never truly be happy.
Topics Related to Lost Generation
English-language films, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway, Jake the Dog, Cohn